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Commencement FAQs

How was is decided it was safe to have “live” Commencement? Also, what kind of safety precautions may be required?

Through this entire process, Boise State administrators have put the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and community first. The consideration of commencement is no different. With a drop in COVID numbers in the Treasure Valley, successful rollout of the vaccination program in the state, and the changes to gathering restrictions at the state and local levels, we were able to make a decision to offer this opportunity to students and their families.

First and foremost, we are continuing to follow all public health guidelines. Thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of campus staff, we’ve been successful in creating a model of classroom and campus safety methods. To cut down on opportunities for spread, the university chose to plan for three outdoor ceremonies, allowing for physical distancing of graduates, faculty, staff and guests. Our plan calls for ceremonies to be contactless from start to finish, and everyone attending will be required to wear a facial covering, sit at their assigned seats and physically distance.

What is the difference between commencement and graduation?

Graduation: the process of being awarded a degree after completion of credit hours and other degree requirements.

Commencement: the congratulatory ceremony in which students are publicly and formally recognized.

Does participating in virtual ceremonies mean that I cannot attend in-person ceremonies later?

Graduates from our 2020 class are invited to a special ceremony on Friday, May 7.

What if I don’t want to participate in any of the ceremonies? Do I need to apply to graduate?

Yes. Students must apply to graduate regardless of participation in any of the ceremonies. Information on applying to graduate can be found at

When and how will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed approximately six weeks after graduation to the mailing address listed on your myBoiseState account. More information about diplomas can be found at

How do I get my honor cord and how do I know if I qualified for one?

The bookstore can provide qualifying graduates with their honor cords. They will verify your honors status upon ordering.

How do I appeal to walk early?

Students who will be completing their degree in the summer of 2021, have less than 6 credits or two classes left to complete in the summer semester, have applied and paid for summer graduation, or have an extenuating circumstance can appeal to walk early using this form.

Will I receive a diploma cover during the ceremony?

Yes, diploma covers will be distributed to all attending graduates during the ceremonies.

How many guests are allowed per student?

Due to health and safety measures as well as ensuring that all graduates are able to have guests, each student will be able to secure four (4) guest tickets for the ceremony in which they will be participating. More info about how to secure your tickets is coming soon!

Do the ceremonies include masters and PhD students?

Yes, all graduating students are invited to participate in the ceremony with their college.